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Friendster Sacks Blogger

As I’m reading about memetics and how memes are first assimilated by a host, then retained, expressed and finally transmitted, I aim to complete the circle here by linking to this story about an employee of Friendster who recently got sacked due to content in her blog.

The story has been extensively quoted throughout the blogosphere (I’ve now seen it on several blogs), and I wouldn’t be surrprised if it was reported on a few news sites too.

It leads me to wonder where or not my expression of the meme is actually useful to the “group” (i.e. bloggers and readers of blogs), since people are infinitely more likely to find the link (the meme) on another, more heavily-connected blog (a hub) than they are to see it here. In fact, even if someone does read it here, chances are that they’ve already heard it elsewhere.

So what was the thing that made me blog this in the first place? What pushed me over the threshold value from idleness to actively blogging about it? I think the answer is a mixture of relevance, importance and repetition. The article was both relevant and important to me in that it was interesting and pertinent to my research. But the thing that pushed me into blogging about it was that I have seen the meme in many places now which has moved it from the periphery of my attention to the centre. Why is this? The fact that many people, people that I respect as bloggers (since I read their blogs regularly and value the information they provide) have quoted the information suggests that it is important. Their citing it actually increases its importance.

Going back to the question of what value do I add why quoting the meme, it is the penetration of a meme in the lower part of the power law curve that is a better representation of its popularity. The heavily-linked high-end bloggers will all quickly post about a meme that is important to them, allowing the information to very rapidly spread within that tight-knit network. By measuring the diffusion of that information out into the lower echelons of the power curve, away from the well-connected hubs, we can much better guage the popularity of the meme.

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